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Study literature and culture through an exciting variety of thematically conceived modules on the MA English Literature. Drawing on staff expertise, the programme covers a broad range of periods from the early modern period to the present. On this diverse and challenging degree you’ll gain advanced research skills, which you’ll apply throughout your studies and beyond. Learn more about an existing area of interest, or discover something new on our highly adaptable and varied MA.

This course is also available to study part-time.

Key features

  • Develop your research interests in literature and culture across the ‘long Modern’ period.
  • Define your own programme with modules which rotate yearly, offering a fresh choice each year.
  • Choose from modules closely integrated with staff research interests, while being able to pursue your own ideas.
  • Benefit from small tutorial groups across all modules, providing you with invaluable face-to-face contact with your tutors.
  • Hone your skills with a compulsory initial module which shows you how to carry out postgraduate research.
  • Benefit from adaptable study routes, allowing you to find a means of studying which fits around your other commitments. 
  • Access resources at any time with the University library, open 24 hours, 365 days a year, offering a vast range of electronic and print materials, including a rare books collection.
  • Engage closely with unique local resources such as the nationally designated eighteenth-century Cottonian Collection, or the University’s own rare books collection stocked with 19th century and 20th century periodicals.
  • Build on your experience - some of our students have been involved in curating exhibitions and organising conferences. 
  • Make the most of a rich cultural environment with The Arts Institute programme and the University’s links with local arts organisations, like the Theatre Royal.
  • Tailor your time at university to meet your needs by fitting your study around work and personal commitments. Our part-time route allows you to study over two years, giving you the flexibility to study at a pace which suits you.

Course details

Programme overview

In your first semester, you’ll take our compulsory research methods module, plus one other elective module from the list below. In your second semester, you’ll take two elective modules. The summer period will see you take the dissertation module in a subject of your choice, involving one-to-one supervision and support. This will be a chance to work independently on a project which interests and excites you. On a part-time route, you can complete the programme over two years. After completing research methods in the first term, you’ll usually study one module per term for two years (although other arrangements are possible). You’ll then do your dissertation in the spring and summer of the second year, finishing the MA in two years, or defer the dissertation to the following year and complete in three years. 

Core modules

  • Research Methods and Debates in Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Dissertation

Elective modules for Semesters 1 and 2

The elective modules on offer will change each year but will be selected from the list below.

  • Writing War 1850-1950: The impact of Modernity:
  • The Haunted Mind: Ghosts 1750 to the present
  • Poetry and the Environment
  • The Legacy of War: Fiction of the 1920s and 30s
  • Ocean Modernity: Literature and the Sea 1850-the present
  • Poetry and the Modern Self
  • Fictions of femininity in eighteenth-century England
  • The Utopian Novel and Modernity
  • Independent Research Project

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Core modules

  • MAEL700 Research Methods and Debates in Literary and Cultural Studies
  • MAEL701 MA English Literature Dissertation
  • MAEL704 The Haunted Mind: Ghosts 1750 to the Present

Optional modules

  • MAEL703 The Legacy of War: Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s
  • MAEL707 Ocean Modernity: Literatures of the sea, 1850- the present
  • MAEL710 Independent Research Project

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA English Literature Programme Specification 2018 19 6046

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.


Visit the English Literature (Full Time) - MA page on the University of Plymouth website for more details!

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